Samsung claims unbreakable phone screen. Challenge accepted.

Samsung has developed a U.S. military-grade unbreakable phone screen….(about 10 years too late).

The days of having to strain your eyes looking through your jacked-up Galaxy screen seem to be over.

 

Here’s the proof:

Why it’s Hot

While other phone makers have been spending R&D dollars to make stronger and harder screen glass, Samsung zags and develops something flexible. Well played, Samsung.

Internet-free smartphone

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Samsung launched a new phone, Galaxy J2 Pro, a phone that lets people call make phone calls and send text messages but cannot connect to the internet.

It targets high schools students who need to focus on studying for their college entrance exam in Korea. The goal is to help them stay on task without the distraction of social media, games, or browsing the web.

Other features include an offline electronic dictionary app, a calendar app, an FM radio and a calculator.

There perk is, students who have completed the exam can trade in their Galaxy J2 Pro for a Galaxy S, Note, or A Series phone.

Why it’s hot: Sometimes it’s good and helpful going back to the basics.

Source: Yahoo

Samsung’s app for users who can no longer read, write or speak

Aphasia is a disorder usually caused by brain injury or disease whose effects can include losing the ability to read, write and speak. Aphasic patients can still comprehend visual cues like symbols, gestures and facial expressions, and written language aside, are able to fully function and communicate.

By mapping series of emojis to everyday human actions and needs, Samsung’s Wemogee app provides a visual interface for aphasic patients to communicate with friends and family. Aphasic users enter emojis into Wemogee, the app translates the visual entries into sentences for their friends and family, and vice versa, helping bridge their gaps in expression and communication.

It is still all too common for websites and apps to consider accessibility and special needs as an afterthought. It’s especially refreshing to see an app created to help a specific group of humans who would normally be ignored in these spaces.

Original article

#DoWhatYouCant

Leo Burnett Found the Perfect Spokesbird for This Cute, Clever Samsung Gear VR Ad

Samsung has done plenty of commercials for the Gear VR showing humans wearing the virtual reality headset—which we can all agree is usually kind of weird. But in the new spot—which premiered 3/29 at a Samsung event introducing the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus smartphones—the marketer tried a different species of VR wearer.

The ostrich, clearly, is perfect, both as a creature that might fulfill its own destiny via VR and as a metaphor for Samsung itself—a grounded bird that’s become a bit of a joke, but could soar if it only just believes.

Why It’s Hot. Creativity and advertising again serve a noble purpose of helping a brand after product debacle (Note 7). Everyone, including a brand, deserves a 2nd chance if it dares to create one.
 

Samsung Adding Screens on Trucks to Show Road Ahead

In 2015, Samsung shared a concept where a large screen was attached to the back of a semi-truck, showing drivers the road ahead. Now, the concept is becoming a reality, dubbed “Safety Truck.”

The video wall consists of four Samsung HD screens that are water and dust proof and very visible under direct sunlight. The live video will be captured by two cameras built in the front of the Volvo truck.

After four months of reliability testing, Samsung will roll out these trucks globally.

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Why It’s Hot

This is an awesome initiative by Samsung and Volvo to make the roads safer. Additionally, Samsung plans to improve the system by combining the technology with truck platooning technology (trucks automatically control the distance between each other by using wireless networking).

Rihanna’s AntiDiary Mobile Experience

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In true Rihanna fashion, she’s releasing her latest album in the coolest way possible. With a collaboration between Samsung and some seriously creative film directors, I’ll break it all down for you.

Go to AntiDiary.com on your smartphone (intentionally a mobile experience, it does not work on desktop). You’ll be welcomed into a mysterious world of different rooms that you must unlock clues within.

First you’re sent into “R1,” a panoramic view of what looks like a child’s bedroom, where, by shifting the angle of your phone around, you can “look” around the room. Certain items scan, taking you into various clues – from video content to sound bites to images.

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As you continue through the experience into different rooms, from ‘Studio’ to ‘Closet’ to ‘Tattoo Parlor’, you are prompted to continue unlocking content and keep on your exploratory, engaging journey.

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Because I’m a lowly iPhone user, I couldn’t unlock or fully experience the mystery of it all. That’s the branded catch, of course. Galaxy Samsung users get access to more rooms, and therefore are capable of solving the big mystery.

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Bad girl RiRi has done it again. This mobile experience definitely got me thinking about Samsung as an innovation leader that pertains to my real  life (i.e. cool experiences with my favorite artists), which is something many technology companies struggle with when touting innovation. Why do I as a consumer really care? Well, because – Rihanna.

Samsung Social Hosts a Korean Restaurant For Singles

A Chinese restaurant in Seoul ostensibly took it upon themselves to play Cupid for the singles in May. In a longer version (untranslated) of this video, we see a man handing out flyers (Free Jja jang noodles for singles for Grand Opening!) to single-looking people in the neighborhood. Later, we see a few single people with flyers in their hands entering the restaurant and being led to a section of the restaurant where they enjoy their free noodles. The booth asks if the single if he or she would like to be enjoying the noodles with someone else, and when they click “Yes,” the front of the booth opens up and reveals a fellow single across table! The singles are then free to make awkward conversation or really hit it off to exchange numbers.

This mockumentary-style video was a viral hit in Korea, and it was actually an effort by the Samsung Group to promote their products and social channels. In the extended view of the video, we see an end note of a man wanting to enjoy his noodles alone, clicking “No” and a caption says, “If you’re also alone, become friends with Samsung Social Channels.”

Why It’s Hot: In Korea, the couple culture is highly valued. There are many set-up dates and products that cater specifically to couples like couple keychains and rings. It’s a great insight and innovative creative from Samsung to try to become part of that conversation (and help singles meet each other) without being overly promotional. You see the very subtle Samsung branding at the end of the video, and it doesn’t feel obtrusive or out of place. There is higher value in the content rather than the branding, which makes sense for the video.

Samsung “Safety Truck”

Inspired by a startling statistic — in Argentina almost one human dies in a traffic accident every hour — Samsung Argentina set out to reclaim safety with “Safety Truck” and the power of innovation.

 

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With the guiding understanding that crashes often occur while automobiles pass on the country’s many one-way roads, Samsung added a built-in camera to the front of a truck. This device captures real-time footage of the road and then wirelessly feeds it to four screens on the truck’s rear wall. This live film will play continuously as the truck moves, making nearby drivers aware of their surroundings.

Samsung “Safety Truck” isn’t changing the road, just the way you see it. For this seamless connection of humanity’s needs to technology’s capabilities, the campaign is one of our 2015 Cannes contenders.

(Read more here).

WHY IT’S HOT

“An idea that, instead of changing people’s lives – Saves them”

Here is another great example of the use of Technology with a purpose. Wether this effort will end up being more distracting than productive – time will tell. What’s interesting to me is the unexpected; the smart use of a previously unused surface (or placement).

 

Samsung Celebrates Mother’s Day By Featuring Your Mom’s Texting Style

There is no shortage of tear jerker ads that celebrate how wonderful mom is. While, Dad is typically the infamous “goofy” one of the family. Samsung is taking a different approach this year.

Read more here.

Why It’s Hot

It’s funny and it’s relevant to the season. Instead of following the lead of other brands to create sappy spots honoring mom, Samsung took a fun approach that is relatable for so many!

Luggage checks itself in at airports

According to the Daily Mail, Samsonite and Samsung have been developing luggage that can identify itself, tell you if it’s being opened if you are not around and even follow you around.  Working through GPS locators, the luggage will sync with a smartphone app to keep you apprised of your luggage’s condition and location at all times. That means if you don’t see the luggage at the carousel when you get off a flight, you can immediately track it through your app.  It will also send an alert if it is moved or opened during the flight.

A built-in chip could also help bags check themselves in at airports.  The chip would ping the airport when you arrive, identify the luggage and remotely tag it with flight and destination.  You would then drop off the luggage at a carousel where it would be weighed and placed in line for onboarding.

Finally, the two companies are developing luggage that would follow about 6 inches behind you as you walk through the airport.  With a built-in motor and GPS tracker, the luggage would make walking through the airport or to your hotel much easier.

Samsonite’s Smart Luggage Can Check Itself in at the Airport

Why it’s hot

The ability to check your luggage automatically, track where it is and even see if it’s been opened are practical GPS applications that make your life easier and travel a little less stressful.  Once introduced, look for the trend in smart luggage to accelerate quickly.

#TextsFromMom x Voicemails From Mom x Samsung

Not in the mood for another emotional Mother’s Day ad? Watch Samsung’s #TextsFromMom ad for a good laugh. For an added twist, Samsung included visible phone numbers so you can call the mom’s and listen to their voicemails. Try one! 1-813-750-2964

Why It’s HOT: Samsung added a new twist with voicemails making their 2015 Mother’s Day ad rather disruptive.

IKEA Will Help You Convert Your Furniture to Enable Wireless Charging

Furniture giant IKEA has made a commitment to enabling future wireless technologies in some of its new product lines. But rather than reinvent the wheel on its massive product line entirely, IKEA turned the problem on its head.

For $5, IKEA will sell you a specially formed drill to turn most IKEA furniture into wireless charging stations. The drill creates a perfectly formed hole to mount its Jyssen wireless charger ($30) that will go on sale later this spring. IKEA will also begin selling wireless charging cases to support the stations.

Like the IKEA brand, the solution is simple, cheap and elegant:

Why It’s Hot

New consumer technologies can be difficult to make ubiquitous. By enabling customers to easily make wireless DIY, IKEA can make smarter product line decisions while delivering more for customers who want the latest technologies. And by breaking those barriers (a $35 investment, not a $350 one for all new furniture), IKEA is helping this technology grow organically by consumer demand.

Source: Gizmodo

Siri, the battle for her voice & tech

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The voice we have all come to love and adore with our useless, yet relevant questions may be changing hands quietly in the background.  Voice recognition and language interpretation is the key to Siri’s success on Apple devices compared to other devices such as Samsung.  Nuance, the company which developed the technology and has worked on Siri is gearing up to be sold.  Apple is liquid enough to buy, but it will take a significant chunk, as Nuance’s market cap is $4.8 billion.  The slight hick-up is that Nuance would come with significant other work, such as a large health care and imaging department.  This would increase Apple’s operation expense and be considered a distraction by the Board, since Apple currently has no intention of entering that type of market in healthcare.

Is Apple about to lose Siri to Samsung?

Why It’s Hot

If Samsung would acquire Nuance, it would be beyond embarrassing for Apple and would only fuel the fire of Samsung antagonizing Apple.  Apple would lose part of their brand identity with the lack of Siri’s voice capability, and would be forced to grab Kasisto, a SRI developed voice assistant that is poised to be better than Siri one day, as it integrates into individual apps/media.  The consequences of all this on user experience? It means for digital media that Kasisto/Siri will one day fuel online purchases and increase the interaction of corporations with consumers.

Samsung Fires Back at Apple

That didn’t take long. A day after Apple unmasked its new products — two iPhones with larger screens and the Apple Watch — Samsung released a series of spots mocking its rival. Six videos uploaded to the Samsung Mobile YouTube channel on Wednesday night star two men meant to represent Apple’s Genius Bar employees. The series, called “It Doesn’t Take a Genius,” attacks Apple’s new smartphones, its wearable device and even its Tuesday event live-stream (which functioned poorly), all without mentioning Apple by name. Samsung is expected to release new spots for national TV responding to Apple by early next week.

Why It’s Hot

Thanks to the power of social media, we live in a world where brands are able (and even expected) to quickly react to real-time events. It creates a more powerful message if advertisers are able to get their message across to consumers at the right time. By getting these ads out within hours of Apple’s big announcement this week, Samsung is able to capabilities on the buzz Apple created and hopefully win customers over.

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Samsung “Wall Huggers” Campaign Extended to Airports

Back in early July, Samsung launched a new Galaxy S5 ad calling iPhone users “Wall Huggers” and mocking the iPhone for having a short battery life while touting the battery-saving capabilities of its own newest flagship phone.

This week, Samsung has expanded the “Wall Huggers” campaign to out-of-home advertisements near electrical outlets at major US airports. The ads promotes Samsung’s power-saving feature, an indirect jab at Apple whose iPhone has been widely criticized for having lackluster battery life.

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The real power of the marketing message doesn’t just come from that message and its placement near power outlets. The real impact is when consumers are huddled around those outlets in “the wild.”  Not only is Samsung’s message found during a period of active problem solving (finding an outlet), consumers are then tethered to their devices while they charge. This tethering exposes individuals to the marketing messages for much longer periods of time than a traditional advertisement.

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Samsung has historically been quite aggressive against Apple.  Prior campaigns have attacked the growing culture of waiting in line for new product releases, what Samsung calls “Screen Envy,” and more.

Why It’s Hot

The “Wall Huggers” campaign is a great example of how aggressive, guerrilla marketing can make a more meaningful impact than traditional tactics. While the campaign is not heavy into digital, Samsung and their creative agency are showing how the right message can come at the right time by innately understanding consumer behavior. Samsung saw their competitor’s weakness and attacked in an interesting, unexpected way. My question is, will we now begin to see more advertisement opportunities around non-traditional locations/fixtures, such as power outlets, water fountains, and restrooms?

Source: MacRumors

Samsung Uses Color to Bring Emotions to Life

To showcase the visual capabilities of its new Galaxy Tab S, Samsung has created a global out-of-home color design display using the same technologies as its tablet in hopes of provoking an emotional response among those who pass by.

The digital out-of-home ads will run in high-traffic areas in six cities across the world, beginning in New York City today and rolling out in Amsterdam, London, Milan, Singapore and Toronto over the next few weeks.

The interactive designs, billed as “Color Therapy,” are customized for each region. They change colors and shapes in nearly 150 ways based on the weather and “move” like a screensaver. The New York board uses ink to represent the flow of the city, and the London installation mimics the moment when raindrops hit the ground. The displays also counterbalance the weather by responding with cool tones when it is hot or dry or a warmer color range when the weather is cold or wet.

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Why It’s Hot

This is a subtle and innovative way for Samsung to show us the features of their Galaxy Tab S tablet without actually telling them to us and without even showing us the product. The only branding that’s included in the billboards will be the Samsung logo. The experience continues online as users are able to create their own personalized “Color Therapy” on a microsite built for this campaign. Check it out yourself here.

Source

Pity the “Wall Huggers”

Samsung’s latest installment in it’s “The Next Big Thing Is Here” campaign slams iPhone battery life. The spot shows frazzled, unhappy iPhone-carrying travelers sitting on airport floors, hunched around wall outlets, waiting for their handsets to charge making viewers feel as though they should’ve bought the Samsung Galaxy S5 with ultra power-saving mode and interchangeable battery.

Why It’s Hot

Samsung’s anti-Apple strategy seemed a little condescending at first, but then the scrappy approach began to earn some merit as viewers learned to appreciate the subtle knocks at their competitor without stepping over the line; iPhone users were able to laugh at themselves. As the ads continue, is it getting to a point when Samsung is making viewers feel naive for buying another brand’s products? When focusing an ad campaign on taking hits at a competitors weaknesses it’s imperative brands leave viewers thinking about their product, not feeling patronized.

Read more here

Smart watch = smart payments

PayPal is piloting a new payment option which would allow people to pay for items with their smartwatches. They are testing the new payment method internally by allowing workers to use their Samsung smartwatches for items purchased inside their cafe.

When an employee/customer comes in proximity of the shop, they get a push notification telling them they have checked in. At the same time, the cashiers receive the customers’ name and photo, which they use when inputting an order. Once the customer makes her order, she also receives a notification allowing her to verify it before taping the payment button. The cashier will then receive a notification saying that payment has been approved.

In addition to making purchases, the payment option also allows you to check balances, track activity, retrieve offers, and check-in to participating locations. Right now, PayPal beacon payments are only possible through Samsung Gear 2 devices, and only at the on-site cafe; but when the company launches the service to the public it is likely to be compatible with additional platforms and additional venues.

Why It’s Hot

This combines a few big trends we’ve been following: wearable technologies, emerging payment methods and using data for better customer service. It is an example of better user experience coming out of multiple technologies. We can easily imagine a world when this type of payment process is integrated in our everyday lives.

 

Source: PSFK

Samsung NX Mini Is the Perfect Camera for the Selfie-Obsessed

Cameras designed with the sole intention of helping people take better pictures of themselves are hardly a new idea. The Sony NEX-5TL and Samsung MV800 are two cameras with LCD screens that flip 180 degrees upward from the back so that you can see yourself. And years ago, Samsung even sold the ST500, a point-and-shoot with a secondary LCD on the front of the camera targeted at selfie fanatics.

But now that taking selfies is officially a movement (even parents like taking them), camera makers are rushing out once again with shooters that fully embrace this photographic style. The Samsung NX Mini is one of them.  Read more here.

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Why It’s Hot

It’s interesting to continue to see how social trends can really affect the products that companies are making.  Just another example of how companies can use updates of products to stay current and monetize against them.

Swipe your finger to access PayPal

Paypal and Samsung have partnered to allow access to Paypal just though the biometric swipe of a finger on your smartphone.  As an initiative of the FIDO Alliance (Fast IDentity Online), a consortium of major companies promoting secure online authentification, this major announcement is a “first step towards the wholesale replacement of the traditional text-based password with a unique biometric system based on the FIDO protocol,” according to RelaxNews (as reported on Yahoo News).

For the time being it’s only available through Samsung’s Galaxy SF phone, because that’s the only phone currently integrated with PayPal.  But that will likely change and more consumers will be able to use this technology on their own phones.

Why It’s Hot

No more typing a password. More security on your phone. Instant gratification. Biometric authentification has the potential to redefine how shoppers pay and how money gets moved around. Look for biometrics to gain traction and facilitate this new payment method in a world where our own DNA will give us access to unlimited social and economic experiences.